Temperatures are slowly starting to feel a little cooler, ushering in Fall here in North Carolina. This means it’s time to start thinking ahead to Winter and what you can do to prepare your home for the unpredictable weather coming our way in the next few months with a fall maintenance checklist. While the Farmer’s Almanac predicts a warmer, and drier than normal winter, one can never be too prepared around the home.
The majority of home maintenance tasks that we’ll go over are simple tasks that can be performed in a weekend. For those tasks that you aren’t comfortable completing on your own, call a professional who has the knowledge and experience to complete the job.
Fall Maintenance Checklist:
- Change the batteries in your smoke detectors. This simple task can save lives.
- Call a professional to have your fireplace cleaned.
- In case of a winter storm, know where your outdoor water valves are and your main line, in case you need to shut them off to prevent freezing pipes. Colder temperatures can wreak havoc on your pipes.
- Change the direction your ceiling fan is rotating. You can easily do this on most fans by flipping the switch on the side of your ceiling fan. Make sure your fan blades are rotating clockwise. This will bring warmer air down instead of up to the ceiling.
- If your home has screens or storm windows, now is a great time to install them.
- Perform your own home inspection. Inspect the exterior of your home for any cracks or gaps that you think may pose a problem.
- Cracks and gaps in your home are perfect places for water to sneak in. When temperatures are cold and water sneaks into these gaps, freezing and expansion can occur. Freezing and expansion in gaps can result in damage to your foundation and masonry.
- Inspect the quality of your roof. You’ll want to look for things like missing or loose shingles. Missing shingles can lead to water damage inside your home.
- Check for any air leaks and caulk those areas, most likely around your windows and doors. Add any insulation that might be missing (i.e., attic) and any weather-stripping around doors and windows to prevent air leaks. (Did you know that leaking air can account for a 20 percent increase in heating costs? And that’s something you can control.)
- Have your furnace tuned up by a trained technician to ensure it runs smoothly during the fall and winter seasons.
- Test your generator and have any maintenance performed to it.
- Look for any uninvited guests. As the weather turns cooler, rodents and other animals will start to look for a warmer location—your home. Look for any signs of damage or any openings where they might enter your home and contact a professional to remove them, if necessary.
- Check your sump pump to ensure it’s in proper working condition, and while you’re in your basement or crawl space, check for any wet spots or puddles.
- Check your fire extinguisher—is it up to date? If not, get it updated.
Contact your Weather Master & Mr. Plumber professional for any Autumn needs in HVAC, plumbing and electrical. We’ll help you and your home be prepared for the unpredictable season.